Today I’m sharing four mini book reviews. Going forward, I’ll share mini-reviews of books I’ve read recently and then will do extended reviews of my four and five-star reads!
4⭐️ America’s First Son falls in love with the Prince of Wales … and we are given a wonderful love story that is equal parts hilarious and romantic. I flew through the audiobook and loved it so much I picked up a hard copy from @kramerbooks this weekend. It’s a steamy read that keeps you engaged from the very first moment of witty banter between Henry and Alex.
A classic “sworn-enemies-turned-lovers” tale, this story explores sexuality, love, and what happens when your personal life is a headline for another’s political gain.
4.5⭐️ This review took me a while. I couldn’t quite pinpoint what I wanted to say about this beautifully crafted debut. This novel opens with Stanford Solomon, a man who has a thirty-year-old secret, which is that he is not actually Stanford Solomon but a man named Abel Paisley. Stanford was Abel’s fellow dock worker in Jamaica, and when their white bosses confused the two, announcing Abel’s death, Abel didn’t correct them. Instead, he stole Stanford’s identity and set off for America, where he started a new life. Nearing the end of his life, Abel discloses his secret to his whole family – the daughter he left behind who thought he was dead and the daughter who knows him as Stanford her whole life – believing that his second wife, Estelle, died as a reckoning for his past action.
This debut chronicles the fractures that occur long before Abel steals Stanford’s identity, fractures that begin in colonial Jamaica, and weave through time to present-day Harlem. On a separate line, Debbie, an aspiring museum curator, reads her ancestor’s journal. Her ancestor is Harold Fowler, the owner of a massive plantation in Jamaica with whom Abel’s ancestors are intertwined. If Abel represents how uncertain lineage, immigration, slavery, and secrecy impact a family tree, then Debbie represents what happens when you must confront the atrocities of your ancestors – a time comes where you must decide to acknowledge their wrongs or bury them deeper in time so your family line is salvaged. The uncertainty of lineage, the malleability of it when the people recording others’ lives are responsible for fracturing the tree, is a representation of power and the exploitation of it.
Weaving in folklore, Card explores the repercussions of the ghosts we carry, unseen but felt – the ghosts who operate in our periphery, transforming the path of our family line by forcing us to remember the things we buried.
Have you read any of the above?